Ferrara Candy Company

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Ferrara Candy Company
Industry Confectionery
Headquarters One Tower Ln, ste 2700
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, US
Area served
Brands Brach's • Lemonhead  • Chuckles  • Now and Later  • Bobs Candies • Trolli USA  • Black Forest  • Sathers • Red Hots • Atomic Fireball • Super Bubble • Rainblo • Jujyfruit • Jawbuster • Fruit Stripe • Boston Baked Beans •
Website www.ferrarausa.com

The Ferrara Candy Company is an American candy manufacturer owned by the private equity firm Catterton Partners. The company was formed from a 2012 merger of the Illinois-based Ferrara Pan Candy Company and Minnesota-based Farley's & Sathers Candy Company. Ferrara's product line combines the long-established brands of Ferrara Pan Candy, such as Lemonheads, Atomic Fireballs, Red Hots, and Original Boston Baked Beans, with those of Farley's & Sathers, such as Brach's, Chuckles, Jujyfruits, and Now and Later.


The Ferrara family had been bakers in Italy. Salvatore Ferrara emigrated from Nola to New York in 1900.[1] In 1908, he opened a bakery at 772 W. Taylor, in the heart of Chicago's "Little Italy" neighborhood.[2] He sold candy-coated almonds known as "confetti" (or Jordan almonds), a popular treat at Italian weddings.[1]

When candy sales became greater than pastries, Ferrara partnered with two brothers-in-law, Salvatore Buffardi and Anello Pagano.[3] They built a two-story brick building at 2200 W. Taylor and began producing a variety of panned candies.[1] The second floor of the building was devoted to the revolving kettles that produced the pan candy, with all of the machines being driven by a giant wheel. The candy was dropped to the shipping department below through a hole in the floor.

The private equity firm Catterton Partners, owner of Farley's & Sathers Candy Company, arranged the 2012 deal whereby that well-established confectioner would merge with the Ferrara Pan Candy Company. Although Ferrara Pan Candy was only about half the size of Farley's & Sathers, the new company was christened as the Ferrara Candy Company, and was placed under the leadership of Ferrara Pan Chief Executive Salvatore Ferrara II. Catterton Partners remains the majority investor in the combined company.[4]

Ferrara Candy is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. It operates 5 manufacturing plants in the US and Mexico, as well as distribution centers around the US.

The company sells 92% of all mallowcremes in the US; it is the largest producer of candy canes; the largest seller of conversation hearts; produces a large portion of the jelly beans that are consumed in the United States. The company has 21 starch moguls, of 40 in the US as a whole. The company has between 700 and 800 pans operating at any given time. The company claims that it produces a million pounds of gummy candy per week in 4 manufacturing plants, 2 in the US and 2 in Mexico. The company employs approximately 1,000 people.


  • 1860s Henry Heide Candy Company begins business
  • 1890s Farley Candy Company established
  • 1904 Brach's Candies begins production in the backroom of a Chicago store. Brock's Candy of Chattanooga begins production of penny candies, peanut brittle and jelly candies.
  • 1908 Ferrara Pan Candy is formed
  • 1919 Bobs Candies is formed
  • 1930s Sathers Candy Company begins operations
  • 1962 Lemonheads introduced
  • 1980s Trolli Gummis begins production in the U.S.
  • 1994 Brach's Candy purchases a controlling interest in Brock's Candy of Chattanooga
  • 1995 Favorite Brands International created with purchase of Kraft Caramel, Marshmallow, Dinner Mints and Peanut Brittle businesses. Henry Heide, Inc is sold to Hershey Foods.
  • 1996 Favorite Brands International acquires Farley Foods, Sathers Candy and Kidd Marshmallow businesses
  • 1997 Favorite Brands International acquires Dae Julie and the Trolli Gummi businesses
  • 2002 Catterton Partners form Farleys & Sathers Candy Company made up of assets from the former Farley Foods, Sathers Candy Company, and the Kraft Taffy business from Kraft; Chuckles and several other Henry Heide brands purchased from Hershey Foods.
  • 2005 Farley & Sathers acquires the Trolli Gummi business, which had been part of the Favorite Brands group of products, from Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, which had acquired it as part of a larger group of businesses from Kraft. Bob's Candies is acquired.
  • 2007 Farley & Sathers acquires Brach's Candy
  • 2012 Catterton Partners purchases Ferrara Pan Candy Company and renames the company Ferrara Candy, a shorter name with better name recognition


Atomic Fireball • A round, cinnamon-flavored hard candy invented by Nello Ferrara (1918–2012) in 1954. They are a form of jawbreaker. The outer layers of the candy are a bright red color while the interior layers are white. Atomic Fireballs have been adopted by Flight Controllers in NASA's Mission Control as the "Console Candy of Choice"[5]

Black Forest • Real fruit juice snacks and treats in fun shapes; Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms and other varieties.

Bobs Candies • Soft Mints and Sticks, Candy Canes and Mint "Lumps"

Boston Baked Beans • A sugar-coated peanut candy.

Brach's • A candy and sweets brand that produces and has invented many iconic candies including Candy Corn, Conversation Hearts, Jelly Bird Eggs, Star Brite Mints, Royals, Bridge Mix, Malted Milk Balls, Double Dipped Peanuts and others.

Chuckles • A soft jelly candy, covered in sugar and known for its original five colors (red, orange, yellow, green and black). They are now made in a number of varieties including Mini's, Red's and seasonal selections.

Fruit Stripe • A chewing gum created in the 1960s loved for its juicy fruit flavor and scent. The package is known for the bright stripes and images of Yipes, the zebra who has been the gum's mascot for decades.

Jawbuster • The original jawbreaker since 1919. They are created starting with a single grain of sugar and panned until they reach the full size. As they dissolve, they change color and flavor with each of the five layers.

Jujyfruit • Small, chewy, fruit flavored candies that come in fun fruit shapes and flavors like pineapple, raspberry, grape, banana and other citrus shapes. Also available are Jujubes which are a firmer candy dating back to 1920 in the traditional flavors of lemon, lime, violet, cherry and lilac.

Lemonheads • Introduced in 1962. Lemonheads are a round, lemon-flavored candy consisting of a sweet coating, soft sour shell, and a hard candy core. Other varieties include Appleheads, Grapeheads and Chewy Lemonheads & Friends varieties.

Now and Later • Bite-sized squares of taffy in nineteen different fruit flavors. They come in Original, Chewy and Splits varieties and are packaged in both multi-pieced bars and assorted jars.

Rainblo • The first gumballs made where the color on the outside matched the flavor on the inside.

Red Hots • A small cinnamon-flavored candy created and trademarked by the Ferrara Pan Candy Company in the 1930s.

Super Bubble • The original individually-wrapped bubble gum first introduced in 1946 and still popular in classic original, grape, apple and watermelon flavors.

Trolli (USA) • Gummy candies that are both sour and sweet in unusual shapes.


  1. ^ a b c Dominic Candeloro (2003). Chicago's Italians: Immigrants, Ethnics, Americans. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 128–. ISBN 978-0-7385-2456-6. 
  2. ^ Peter N. Pero (January 2009). Chicago Italians at Work. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7385-6187-5. 
  3. ^ Leslie Goddard (2012). Chicago's Sweet Candy History. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-7385-9382-1. 
  4. ^ Hughlett, Mike (24 May 2012). "Farley’s & Sathers to merge with Ferrara Pan". Star Tribune. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Atomic Fireballs in the MCC, http://www.balettie.com/atomic-fireballs/

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